A Book Critique of Candide by Voltaire

Essay by gouinsofiaHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2012

download word file, 13 pages 0.0

Mr. Boni Sofia Gouin

Due January 4. 2012 Period 1

Candide by Voltaire: A Critique


Voltaire. Translated by Constantine, Peter. Candide or, Optimism. New York: Random House Publishing, 2005.

Mr. Boni most likely had various reasons for deciding to assign the reading of Candide to his classes. Having this book in my repertoire will allow me as a student to have a better understanding of the ideas of the Enlightenment and corresponding topics in history. Voltaire was a key philosophe that was vital in the formation of the United States constitution. By reading Candide and further understanding, his philosophy I can increase my own understanding of the foundation of the country I live in and the constitution that protects my rights and governs all others everyday. I can also apply my newly acquired perspective of Enlightenment philosophy to my comprehension of the events of the French Revolution and subsequent happenings.

Having this particular increased understanding of this period in history from a primary source allows me to apply added reason and awareness to upcoming studies to which this is pertinent. The text provided me with practical information regarding the thoughts of major thinkers of the time and served as a precursor to my studies.

Author's Purpose

Voltaire penned the novella, Candide, or Optimism, as he grew increasingly appalled by the injustice and disaster he saw around him, both of which he could not explain. The Seven Years War broke out in the Germanic states in 1756. This horrific war and all it entailed revealed the many facets of humanity to Voltaire, who could not understand how there still managed to be optimists in this world. In 1757, Voltaire spoke out against the unjust execution of John Byng, an English admiral. Following the devastation caused by the earthquakes in...